Kevin Huerter outlines the decision to have surgery on his shoulder

Apr 12, 2024, 11:14 AM

Kevin Huerter #9 of the Sacramento Kings shoots a three-point shot against the San Antonio Spurs in...

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 22: Kevin Huerter #9 of the Sacramento Kings shoots a three-point shot against the San Antonio Spurs in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game at Golden 1 Center on February 22, 2024 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Huerter spoke with reporters Thursday for the first time since suffering his season-ending shoulder injury on March 18th. He explained lingering shoulder troubles throughout most of his career, outlined the decision to get surgery, and the mental difficulties that come with the unfortunate timing.

The Maryland alum went down after what looked like a typical basketball play from Desmond Bane, who swiped toward the ball as Huerter drove in transition. Yet, it caused him to suffer a dislocated shoulder and a labral tear. Sacramento’s guard explained that he’s dealt with shoulder issues since he joined the league, but never to this extent.

“It’s been an issue that I’ve had for a couple of years now,” Kevin Huerter said. “Nothing that was significant enough for me to have to fix it and get surgery on something that I’ve played with and felt like I could get back to 100 percent. I haven’t had issues with it in a couple of years. This one, most recent, I would call it episode, the injury became more significant, and the decision became playing through the injury, obviously, or completely fixing with surgery, and where it was currently at, it could be 100 percent fixed with surgery.”

“It’s the first time it’s popped out for me since I was super young, but I hurt it a couple of years ago in a game against Denver and then have had a couple of episodes where I just hit it and had to be out for a couple of days since in the past couple of years,” he continued.

“So, it’s been something that I’ve been aware of. This was the worst of it, the episode, it fully popped out and significance of the strain and all that stuff, but it just, again, became something that, for my long-term health and me getting back, I just had to do.”

After going to multiple specialists, hoping one would say he could play through it and rejoin the Kings for the postseason, he ultimately decided it was best to deal with the issue now and limit his chances of future, most extreme re-injuries.

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Sacramento has struggled for stretches since Huerter went down, especially offensively, as the 2023-24 regular season ends. It’s unfortunate timing for everyone involved as the most crucial part of the season, the postseason, nears.

“That’s the part that sucks,” Huerter said. “You play all year, you practice all year, to play in the playoffs and get back, especially with this team, how we ended last year, we were looking forward to getting back in the playoffs and playing, and you don’t play this game for the regular season, so just the timing definitely sucks.”

Now, Kevin Huerter will get the chance to recover and prepare for next season fully, but the Sacramento Kings will need to continue to push forward and find ways to compete in his absence.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento will play the second night of a back-to-back against the Phoenix Suns–another team that is vying for a top-six spot in the Western Conference standings.

The Kings and Suns are tied at 2-2 in their regular season series, meaning that whoever wins on Friday will secure the tie-breaker. Sacramento will enter the night two games behind Phoenix in the standings and in a three-way tie with the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors for the eighth seed.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Suns coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from Golden 1 Center.

Upcoming Schedule

  • Friday, April 12th – Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns – 7:00 PM PST
  • Sunday, April 14th – Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers – 12:30 PM PST (End of regular season)


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Kevin Huerter outlines the decision to have surgery on his shoulder